Unfortunately, while there are many benefits to living in the digital age, there are also drawbacks. Last week, Anthem, a health insurance company, announced that hackers gained access to its computer network and stole sensitive information about customers and employees.
It should be noted that Anthem is the country’s second-largest health insurer. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the stolen data included Social Security numbers, income information and street addresses.
The company runs Blue Cross Blue Shield in dozens of states, covering more than 37 million people. The FBI announced that it is investigating the breach and the company has hired a digital security firm to improve its network.
Sadly, this is not the first time Anthem has allegedly compromised customer information. In 2013, Anthem paid $1.7 million to the federal government over allegations that it left the information of more than 612,000 members available online because of poor security, according to the Sun-Times.
What Should I do If My Personal Information is Exposed Online?
Last year, we wrote a blog in the wake of the Sony data breach that explained what to do if your Social Security number is exposed online. Remember, with information like a person’s Social Security number, birthday and email addresses, a person could potentially apply for credit lines and other loans.
If your personal information is compromised, you should monitor your credit reports, as you can setup fraud alerts with monitoring services like Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. Additionally, you can report the fraud to the Federal Trade Commission at 877-438-4338 or file a local police report.
Speaking to the Social Security Administration About a Data Breach
Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of numbers issued, the Social Security Administration rarely issues replacement numbers. If you experience instances of fraud, make sure you visit your local SSA field office to talk to a representative. The only way the SSA will issue you a new Social Security number is if there is evidence that exists that someone else is using your number. Again, to prove this, you will need to monitor your credit reports.
We will continue to keep you posted on data breaches like this moving forward. While our attorneys specialize in Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), we like to keep up with any news affecting the SSA and public in general.
Troutman & Troutman, P.C. – Tulsa Social Security disability lawyers